Kensi looked around her living room with a frown. It was spotless. She had spent the last three hours cleaning it, and it showed. The piles of clothes that had been tossed all over were now in the spare bedroom in piles ready to be thrown in the washing machine, the dishes were washed and in the dish strainer, and the trash was thrown out. She glanced at the clock. If she continued to be this upset for much longer, she could have every room clean before she went into work in the morning. She was sure Hetty would take one look at her and send her back home, but she knew she had to go in. She had to do something, even if it was paperwork. Surely she could make Hetty understand that.
She sat down on the couch and buried her head in her hands. She couldn’t stop seeing Dom laying on the rooftop, his blood flowing around his body. The anger in Sam’s eyes, the sadness in Callen’s haunted her every time she closed her eyes. She hadn’t been there when he was shot. She hadn’t been there when he took his last breath. She had been close, but it hadn’t been close enough. She hadn’t been able to save him.
She couldn’t shake the image. She also couldn’t shake the fear that her new partner would die the same way. Or the fear that he would die before she ever saw him again. No longer the temp, Deeks would be her partner if he came back from his undercover op in one piece. She wanted him back. She knew losing Dom and then Deeks would kill her.
She heard a knock on her door, and looked up. A form, dressed in a black hoodie was standing outside. Shaking her head, she crossed the room, expecting it to be Callen on a late night run. As she got closer, she saw a stock of blond hair, and she smiled despite herself. Pulling the door open, she grabbed the man and pulled him inside, shutting the door securely before wrapping her arms around him.
“I take it you missed me Fern,” Deeks said with a grin as his arms went around her.
Kensi pulled back long enough to pull Deeks’s hood off so she could look at him. She traced a cut across his nose with her finger and frowned. “So you’re done? You’re coming back.”
Deeks shook his head. “Nope. I’ve got to go back. And soon, before they know I’m gone.”
“Why are you here?” she asked, tugging him further in and ushering him to the sofa.
He sat down and then pulled her down beside him. “Hetty.”
“What about Hetty?” she asked shaking her head.
“When I checked in with my captain tonight he said I was to return a call, and gave me a number. I called it. Talked to Hetty. She told me about Dom. I’m sorry baby girl,” he squeezed her hand. “She gave me a location and a time. I left the op, went to the location, met up with Sam, who took me to Callen, who gave me an unmarked car, and told me to come here.”
She nodded, and looked at his hand covering hers. She knew she should try to pull out of his grasp, but she didn’t, instead choosing to enjoy the contact of his skin on hers. She turned her hand over, palm side up and tried not to smile as he wove his fingers through hers.
“And to go back?” she whispered, not wanting to think about it.
“Same thing … but in reverse,” he shrugged. “And hope no one thinks anything of it.”
“Isn’t that dangerous?” she asked softly, unable to shake the idea that Deeks could end up like Dom.
“Nope,” he said shaking his head. “I was careful. We were all careful. It’ll be fine. It’s just a onetime thing, and seeing you was important to me.”
“Why?” she asked.
“Because you’re my partner. And you had the most crappy day ever. And you needed to know that I was ok and that I was coming back,” Deeks shifted and used his free hand to brush a stray piece of hair from Kensi’s face.
Kensi nodded as she chewed on her lower lip. She wasn’t sure how Deeks had gotten under her skin so quickly. Every touch of his hands sent chills down her back. She wanted nothing more than to lean forward and kiss him.
He grinned at her, and for a moment she thought that he could read her mind. Pulling her hand out of his grasp she shifted until she was further back on the sofa, putting as much space between them as she could.
Deeks smirked. “Really Kensi? You scared of what I might do next? Or is it that you don’t trust yourself?”
“No. I just…” she trailed off. She didn’t know what to say next. She didn’t want to admit that being close to him unnerved her.
“I’ll be back Kensi. And we’ll be partners. And then we’ll see. I won’t rush anything between us,” he said softly as he leaned closer to her. “That’s not what tonight is about. Tonight, for a few hours, it’s about me being there for my partner who just lost a teammate.”
Deeks held his arms open, and she considered falling into them. He seemed to understand what she needed, what she wanted, just for tonight, and he wasn’t going to offer anything else. Slowly she slipped across the sofa and laid her head on his chest. When he wrapped his arms around her and began to slowly rub her back, she relaxed into his hold. Her eyes drifted shut as he began to talk softly. She knew he was telling her about other undercover ops that he had been in and survived. She tried to answer him a couple of times, but she found that her body was too tired to cooperate. Instead as her body relaxed, her mind began to shut off, and soon she was asleep.
When she awoke in the morning, she was still on the couch, and Deeks was gone. For a moment she wondered if the whole thing had been a dream until she saw the hastily scribbled note on her coffee table. She picked up the paper and grinned.
I’ll see you soon Fern. And we’ll continue what we started.
“No one followed me. I said I needed some time to think, and they bought it. No one’s in any danger,” he said through clenched teeth. “Besides, it was Hetty’s idea.”
“I didn’t mean tonight,” Callen said as he hit the brakes, grinning when Deeks flew forward in his seat. “I mean with Kensi.”
Deeks turned to him. “I’m not going to mess anything up. I’m going slowly, we’re partners. She needs to know she can trust me.”
Callen nodded. “And Sam and I need to know that you’re not just trying to get into her pants.”
“I’m not just trying to do that,” Deeks answered with a smirk. “But that would be a bonus.”
“I’m being serious Deeks,” Callen said with a frown. “You can’t screw around if you’re going to be our fulltime liaison. And you’re going to have to play nicer with the LAPD.”
Deeks nodded. “Hetty wants me. She requested me. And I respect that she has faith in me that no one else does. I’m not going to screw that up.”
“In a lot of ways, we’re all orphans that Hetty’s taken in,” Callen said slowly. “We all have our own issues, and we have to be able to trust the people that we work with. Trust doesn’t come easy for any of us and it has to be earned.”
“I understand that. I have to earn my way in,” Deeks ran his fingers through his hair. “At the same time, I have to know that you guys have my back when it counts, that you’re not going to let me down because I’m the new guy, or because you think I’m green. You show me respect and I’ll show you respect.”
Callen nodded. “Fair enough. And if you need up for anything, you let us know. Even with your op right now, if you need us to have your back, we will.”
“Thanks,” Deeks said with a nod. “I’ll hold you to that.”
“Come back alive,” Callen said with a nod as Sam pulled up beside them. Deeks nodded and slid out of Callen’s car in Sam’s.
Sam nodded but didn’t say anything. The trip back to Deeks’s car seem to take longer in silence. It wasn’t until they were about a mile from his car that Sam stopped, shut off the engine and turned to Deeks.
“You ok walking from here?”
Deeks nodded. “Thanks for tonight.”
Sam looked at him, not blinking, and Deeks stared back, not wanting to back down first.
“Callen talk to you?” Sam asked slowly.
“Whatever he said. It goes double for me,” Sam said with a cold stare. “And if you even think about hurting Kensi…”
“If I hurt her, she’ll kill me,” Deeks said with a grim smile. “I know.”
Sam shook his head. “If you hurt her, you’re gonna wish she was the one killing you. Because I will get a hold of you first, and you will beg for death.”
Deeks nodded. “Understood.”
“Now, go get back to your undercover work, get the information, get out, and get back to us alive. And soon. Before we talk Hetty into replacing you with someone else.”
“That was almost a cuddly goodbye,” Deeks said with a grin. “If you’re not careful, I’ll start thinking you like me.”
Sam raised his eyebrow. “Don’t get used to it.”
Deeks shook his head as he slipped from Sam’s car and headed out into the woods. On the slow trek back to his car, all he could think about was how he wanted the mission to be over so he could go back to NCIS. Sliding into his car, a beat up black sports car, he put NCIS behind him and slipped into his persona. It was time to finish the case, and it was time to be his undercover alias.
He got around the corner before Kensi caught up with him. She tugged at the end of shirt, stopping him. He spun and knocked her against the wall, startling her.
“Deeks,” she said, reaching out to him.
“Leave me alone,” he said with a glare. “I don’t need you. I don’t need anyone.”
“Deeks, this is me,” she said, touching his arm. “Talk to me.”
He jerked away from her touch. “I don’t need to talk Kensi. I need to be alone. I work better alone. I worked better before I was paired with someone.”
“Tough Deeks. Because you’re my partner now, and you’re stuck with me,” Kensi said taking a step toward him.
Deeks took another step back, shaking his head. She would be better off without him. NCIS would be better off without him. What good would he be to them when they had to rescue him from his own op? There wasn’t anything that he could bring to them. LAPD didn’t want to work with him; he wouldn’t be a good liaison. They already had told him that they didn’t trust him not to screw things up. If he was honest with himself, he didn’t trust himself either.
“You don’t want me for a partner,” he said turning his back on her. “You’ll only end up hurt.”
“Get over yourself,” she yelled down the street as he walked away.
He knew she expect him to turn around, but he didn’t. Instead he kept walking away. He needed to get away and clear his head.
“I’m sorry,” Kensi whispered, breaking the silence.
Deeks wrapped his arm around her, pulling her close to him, taking in her body heat. “Me too.”
Under normal circumstances she wouldn’t have let anyone this close to her. But she could feel the chill in his skin as his hand touched her bare arm. The weeks undercover and the death of his partner had eaten away at him and left a chill on him that would be hard to shake. The memory of that chill being on her, kept her from pulling away.
“I don’t have anything to eat,” Deeks said, staring toward the kitchen. “I think that’s what I hate most about coming back from an op. The empty fridge, the almost bare shelves. But there’s no sense in leaving anything here. Don’t know when, or if, you’ll be back.”
“We could get burgers. Go on a beer and chip run. Then watch a movie,” Kensi said softly.
He turned his head to look at her. “We?”
She nodded and lifted her head from his shoulder. “Yes. We. You’re my partner, you’re stuck with me. And tonight you need to know that.”
He gave her a sad smile. “Thanks Fern.”
“Don’t call me Fern,” she said with a shake of her head.
He leaned closer to her, bringing his nose level with hers. “I will always call you Fern. That’s how you’ll know.”
“Know what?” she asked, pulling her head away a few inches.
“That I’m me. That I haven’t been so consumed by another identity that I’ve lost myself,” he sighed and leaned back, pulling her with him.
“Is that what happened today?” she asked softly.
“No,” he shook his head. “I, I don’t know what that was. It just felt like I was suffocating, I had to get away, clear my head.”
“I didn’t like it,” she said with a frown. “I don’t like being pushed away like that. You’re my partner, so you’re stuck with me. You can’t walk away from me. I need you to promise that you won’t walk away from me.”
“I’m sorry Kensi,” he said sadly. “It was all too much. I wasn’t walking away from you, I just couldn’t handle everything, I had to get away.”
They lapsed into silence, each lost in their own thoughts. Kensi wasn’t sure how she would have handled the news had she been in his shoes. Most likely she would still be at the gym trying to sweat out her temper. Or Callen and Sam would have drug her off somewhere to get drunk. She always had them to count on. Looking at Deeks, sitting in his empty apartment with him, she realized that he had no one.
She rested her head on him. “Has that ever happened? Have you ever lost yourself?”
“Once,” he answered softly. “One time I crawled so deep into my cover that I didn’t think I was going to come out.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” Kensi asked.
“No,” he answered with a sigh. “I didn’t like that cover. It was too real, too familiar. He wasn’t a nice guy, and there are a lot of things that I did while I was him that I’m not proud of.”
Kensi nodded, unsure of what to say.
“There was this girl,” he shook his head. “I thought it was real. I forgot that I was just running an op, playing a part. And it’s not like I could ever tell her the truth. I wouldn’t have even wanted to. But she thought it was real, and I found it easy to forget that it was only a game.”
“I’m sorry Deeks,” she said gently touching his shoulder. “No chance she’d like you for you?”
He laughed. “You don’t even like me for me Fern. Anyways, it wasn’t real. It was just a cover that I needed to sell.”
Kensi nodded. “I meant it when I said that you were my partner Deeks. And even if you don’t like it, you’re stuck with me. And I know I’m not always easy to get along with. And yes, Callen, Sam, and I will make you work to be one of us, but at the end of the day we all have your back. So get over yourself.”
Deeks laughed. “Was that supposed to be a pep talk?”
“Did it work?” she asked with a grin.
“It was horrible,” he said shaking his head. “You basically said life is hell, and I’m stuck with you.”
“That’s not what I said,” she shook her head. “I said we’ll give you hard time, but we have your back.”
“Same thing,” Deeks said with a shrug.
Kensi sighed and shifted closer to him, swinging her leg over his, until she was sitting on his lap, facing him. She took his face in her hands, and looked into his eyes. “I mean it Deeks. We have your back. We’re not dirty. We’re not going to turn on you. You have issues, well guess what - we all do. For as close as we are, we all have our secrets. You are one of us, and we will never, never abandon you. In return, you can’t ever leave me. Leave us, you can’t ever leave us.”
Deeks nodded at her words and leaned closer to her, softly touching her lips with his. For a moment, her eyes closer and she kissed him back. His hands ran through her hair, and she moaned against his lips. Suddenly eyes flew open and she pulled back, staring at him. She slid from his lap and back onto the sofa when she positioned herself as far away as possible.
“That didn’t just happen,” she said, staring at the wall.
“That was brilliant,” Deeks said with a grin.
“You cannot tell G or Sam about that ever,” she said shaking her head. “Promise me you won’t.”
Deeks looked at her. “What’s wrong Kensi?”
“That didn’t happen Deeks. I can’t be involved with my partner,” Kensi said, biting her lower lip.
Deeks shifted and pulled Kensi toward him. “Kensi, breath. I won’t tell anyone. I thought that’s what you wanted. I’m sorry I misunderstood.”
Kensi nodded. “I can’t Deeks. It’s not you. I just can’t. I can’t be involved with my partner. I can’t be involved with anyone.”
“Ok Fern. We don’t need to be involved. We can just be partners. Partners who are going to get groceries and burgers and watch 80’s movies all night. How’s that sound?”
Kensi looked at Deeks and nodded. He grinned at her, and she found herself smiling back at him. It was a shame really; he was pretty good at kissing. But it wouldn’t work out, and in the end she would find herself without a partner, and a broken heart.
She showed up unannounced at his door with beer and pizza. She knew that it was probably a stupid thing to do, and she didn’t know how to explain to him why she was there, but she knew she couldn’t be alone tonight. She needed her partner even if she couldn’t tell him why she needed him. When he opened the door he looked confused for a moment and she panicked that he might already have someone there. But then he shook his head at her in wonder and stepped aside, letting her in.
“What’s this for?” he asked, motioning to the food.
“You’ve had a bad day,” she said softly. “I thought I’d try to make that up to you.”
He laughed. “What do you mean I had a bad day?”
“You got tazed. And pepper sprayed. I thought you could use some food after that,” she said with a shrug.
He raised his eyebrow. “What else Kensi? What’s on your mind?”
She shrugged. “Can’t I just bring my partner something to eat?”
“No,” he said with a grin. “You have a motive. I’m not going to complain, because pizza, beer, and a cute girl is pretty much my ideal evening. But you’re up to something.”
“I just wanted to hang out. Eat some pizza, drink some beer,” she said with a shrug.
“Make-out with your partner again?” he asked.
“No. That’s not why I’m here,” she said with a glare. “And if you think that’s going to happen, I should just leave now. I shouldn’t have come anyways.”
She shook her head and starting backing toward the door. She didn’t need something like this tonight. All she wanted was to unwind and let her mind shut off. His hand reached out to stop her as he took the food from her. He set it down on a table behind them and stepped toward her.
“Sit down, make yourself at home,” he said softly. “I’ll be good I promise. And when you’re ready to tell me why you came, I’ll listen.”
She let him guide her to the sofa and she took the beer he handed her. She watched as he grabbed plates from the kitchen for the pizza. He sat down beside her and grabbed a bottle of beer for himself. Tipping it towards her’s he lightly clinked the bottles together.
“To partners,” he said softly, watching her face. “And to being there for each other.”
She smiled sadly at his toast. She knew that he was there for her. He had been since they met. He had even left an open case and his cover in order to see her. She would never admit it to him, but until he was back from that case she had spent most nights in fear that Hetty would call her and tell her something went wrong and he wouldn’t be back. When they had to go in and rescue him, she feared that she was the reason his cover was blown. And now tonight he was still there for her even though he didn’t know why. She almost found it hard to believe that he could truly care that much about her in the short time that they had known each other.
They ate their pizza in silence and she started to relax. He had unpaused the movie he had been watching when she knocked, and started it over for her. It wasn’t until the movie ended, and her eyes were drifting shut that he spoke.
“Ready to talk about why you came over?” he asked softly.
“Why does it matter?” she asked with a sigh.
“If something’s bothering you, I want to help,” he said softly. “You know how I feel about you Kens. You know I’m here if you need me. And you came over because you thought you needed me, and now you won’t tell me why.”
She shrugged. “I didn’t have anywhere better to be. Is that what you wanted to hear? I was alone, and I didn’t want to be, and I knew you were home since you were pouting because Hetty wouldn’t let you guys out in her suits, so I came over.”
“And?” Deeks asked, pressing further.
“I just didn’t want to be alone tonight Deeks. I don’t want to talk about why,” she said sharply. “It’s stupid, and it’s just something in the past, and it’s not about you so I don’t want to talk about it. I just didn’t want to be alone.”
He nodded and held his arm out. “Come here Fern.”
She glared at him, but moved closer until she was resting with her head on his chest. She had to give him credit; he didn’t ask any more questions and instead just wrapped his arm around her. She knew she was being silly, but she just didn’t want to be alone tonight. The anniversary of her parent’s separation wasn’t something she had ever talked about with anyone, and she wasn’t sure she ever would. But the empty feeling that she had felt when she went home after work was something that she couldn’t ignore. Tonight she needed her partner.
“Deeks?” she took the coffee and looked around. “Why am I still here?”
“I didn’t want to wake you,” he said with a smile. “You looked so peaceful.”
She took a sip of coffee and looked around. “Donuts?”
“I don’t have any,” he said with a laugh. “I can make you an omelet, or we can go out and get donuts.”
“Both,” she said with a nod.
“Ok,” he said with a laugh. “I’ll feed you here, and then we’ll go get you some sugar.”
He headed into the kitchen to make breakfast with a smile on his face. He has been worried when he woke her that she would freak out, but she had surprised him by being pretty relaxed after sleeping on his sofa.
She came up behind him and startled him when she touched his arm.
“Hey Kens,” he said with a smile. “What’s up?”
She held up her cup. “I’m empty.”
He pointed to the pot. “Cream’s in the fridge, sugar on the counter.”
“Thanks,” she said softly.
She poured a cup and sat down at the table. He could feel her watching him as he circled around the kitchen making food.
“When I was a kid, my mom used to make breakfast for me every Saturday morning. Waffles, and sausage, and fresh orange juice. It was my favorite part of the week,” Deeks said with a sad smile. “My dad would go out with his buddies on Friday night and he’d come home drunk in the early morning and sleep until the middle of the afternoon. So Saturday morning was just my mom and I. She’d make breakfast and watch cartoons with me. I thought it was great.”
“Sounds nice,” Kensi said with a smile.
“It was,” he said with a frown. “Until the Saturday that my dad woke up early. He was still hung over, and angry, and,” Deeks shook his head and trailed off. “It wasn’t good.”
“I’m sorry,” Kensi whispered.
He shrugged. “I don’t really talk about it. My childhood was far from ideal.”
“My parents separated when I was little. I hated my mom for it,” Kensi said softly. “She tried to take me away from my dad. I loved her, but I loved him more. She ruined my life when she left.”
Deeks sat an omelet in front of her with a frown. “I’m sorry Kens.”
“Everyone leaves eventually,” she said with a shrug. “I learned that at an early age.”
“Not everyone leaves,” he said softly. “I’ll show you that one day.”
“Thanks, partner,” she said with a sad smile.
He watched her silently as they ate. She had gotten under his skin and he knew that he would spend every day showing her that he wasn’t going to leave. He didn’t know what it would take to get her to open up to him and trust him, but he knew that her showing up at his door last night was a start.
He could feel Callen’s eyes on him as he offered to take Kensi home since she was refusing to go to the hospital. Glancing over at him, he met Callen’s eyes and held the stare until Callen nodded and gave a faint smile.
Kensi shook her head stubbornly as Deeks hand fell to the small of her back and propelled her from the office.
“Just a minute,” Hetty called out, stopping Deeks.
Deeks tried to not roll his eyes as he turned to face his small boss. “Yes, Hetty?”
She handed him a stack of papers. “Twenty-four hour leave for you and Miss Blye. You both have tomorrow off.”
“Why?” he asked shaking his head. “I mean, Kensi was captured, I understand that. But why me?”
“You were almost killed in an explosion Mr. Deeks. Take tomorrow off,” Hetty said with a nod.
Deeks shrugged. Tucking the paperwork into his bag he turned back to Kensi and gently propelled her to the door.
Once outside she turned to him. “I can drive myself Deeks.”
He nodded. “I know, but humor me.”
“Fine,” she said as she rolled her eyes. “But you’re not coming in.”
He laughed. “Yes I am, Fern. And we’re going to eat, and maybe have a few beers, and watch a movie, and just relax.”
“I can take care of myself,” she said turning to him, her eyes flashing dangerously.
Deeks nodded. “I know you can. But I almost lost my partner, and I just want to come over for a while, until I’m sure that she’s really ok. So do it for me ok?”
She bit her lip, and he could tell she was considering his words. It wasn’t quite a lie. He knew that she would rather deal with her day by being alone and locking it all up safe behind that wall she had build up, but he was determined to get behind that wall. Today was proof that she trusted him; she had known that he wouldn’t stop until he got her back. He didn’t want to lose that small advantage that he had gained by letting her process everything alone.
“Can we go to your place?” she asked softly.
“Then how will you get back to yours?” he countered.
“I have a change of clothes in my car. You can bring me back here in the morning. Someone would need to anyways,” she said with a nod.
“Kensi, why can’t I come to your place?” he asked a grin spreading across his face and he realized the problem wasn’t spending time with him but rather going to her place.
She shrugged. “We’ve been busy with cases. It may be a bit messier than usual.”
The words than usual made Deeks laugh. She was notoriously messy to begin with. Something messier than usual must look like a war between her clothes and her dishes.
He grinned. “You don’t want me to come over because your place is messy? That’s it? That’s the only reason?”
She shrugged. “It’s mostly the reason.”
“Get your stuff from your car. Or I can let you run into your place and get something. And we can go to my place. You can even sleep in my room and I’ll sleep on the pullout.”
“I’ll get stuff from my car,” she said glancing at him. “I don’t think there’s anything clean at my place.”
He laughed. “Tomorrow though, I’m coming over after we get your car and I’m helping you clean.”
“Tomorrow,” she said with a nod. “But not tonight.”
Deeks laughed lightly as he opened the passenger door to his car and let her slid inside. He wasn’t sure if he would get her to talk about anything tonight, but it would be enough to just let her see that he was there for her. And in the morning he would show her that again as he helped her clean her apartment.
He should have run when she was almost safe, trusting that she would do what she could. Instead he took her hand and was with her. Live or die, they were leaving together. She didn’t know how to tell him what that meant. She trusted him, and a part of her was terrified by that.
The other part of her was letting him take her back to his place to spend the night. This was the part of her that wanted nothing more than to curl up with Deeks, watch a movie and let him tend to her. She could see in his eyes that that’s what he wanted to do. And tonight she would let him. Tonight she would set aside her independence and allow him to take care of her. Because if she was honest with herself, she was in too much pain to do anything else and being taken care of sounded like a great thing.
The ride to his apartment was quite, and she had almost fallen asleep when he pulled into his space and turned off the engine. She let him take her bag and guide her into his apartment, too exhausted to fight him.
“The bathroom is in there. It’s a whirlpool tub. Go take a bath, turn the jets on, and relax,” Deeks said softly propelling her down the hall. “I’m going to order some food in a little while, but I’ll make sure it won’t be here for about an hour so it’ll be warm when you come out.”
She nodded with a soft smile and stepped into the bathroom closing the door behind her. Pulling off her top, she put the plug in the tub and turned on the water. The jets looked amazing and she couldn’t wait to step in and relax.
Deeks knocked at the door and she opened it a crack. His blue eyes met hers and he grinned. “There’s bubble bath under the sink. But don’t tell the guys.”
She laughed and nodded. “Thanks.”
He nodded as she shut the door. She didn’t even plan to tell the guys she had spent the night there, let alone mention Deeks’s tub or bubble bath. Opening the cabinet she spied the bottle of tropical fruit bubbles and dumped a generous amount into the bath.
Slipping out of the rest of her clothes, stepping in she turned on the jets and sank down. Closing her eyes she sighed happily. For the first time since she had allowed herself to be taken, she felt the worry flow out of her.
It was forty-five minutes later when the water was tepid and the bubbles were gone that she finally stepped out of the tub. Rolling her shoulders and ankles she found that a lot of the pain was gone and only a dull ache remained.
Tossing on a pair of knee length shorts and a baggy t-shirt she stepped out into the hallway and inhaled deeply. Pizza. She grinned and followed her nose down the hall into Deeks’s kitchen. She grinned at the pizza boxes on the table. Deeks turned from the fridge, a six pack in his hand.
She nodded. “And I’m starving.”
“Which is why I got two pizzas,” he said with a grin. “Can’t have any hungry Kensi around.”
She looked up at him, meeting his eyes. “Thank you Deeks.”
“It’s just pizza,” he said with a soft smile.
She shook her head. “I didn’t mean the pizza.”
“I know,” he said as he stepped past her. Leaning towards her he placed a quick kiss on the side of her head before grabbing the pizza boxes. “Come on, I have a movie all set up for us.”
She stared silently at him before touching the side of her head. She was falling for her partner. She had been falling since they met and she was starting to think that she was about to hit bottom. He had quickly gone from partner to friend, and she knew that he wanted more. She wanted it too, but she was too worried that she would mess it up and lose him.
He was sure she was exhausted enough to let down her guard. He was amazed she had allowed him to see it. Stretching forward he grabbed the remote and turned the movie off. Clicking through the music channels on his cable he found a jazz station. Turning the volume down to it played softly he set down the remote and looked at Kensi. Gently he shifted her weight and twisted around until he was lying on the sofa with her on top of him. She didn’t wake at the movement, and only cuddled closer to him.
Running his fingers through her hair he was tempted to kiss her until she woke. Closing his eyes he tried to fight the urge. He felt like fighting urges was all he had done since he met her. The one kiss in her living room hadn’t been nearly enough for him. She was a drug and he was addicted. But he had promised them both that he would take it slow. Today had been a victory as far as he was concerned. She had trusted him to get her back, and he had. And she had agreed to spend the evening with him instead of shutting him out. It was a step in the right direction.
“This was nice,” Kensi said with a smile as Deeks walked to her to her door. “I’ve never spend Christmas doing something nice like that.”
He shrugged. “I do it every year. I don’t have anything better to do, and they need me. It’s a nice feeling to be needed.”
She reached out her hand. “Do you want to come in for a while? Maybe try to find a movie?”
“Ice cream and beer?” he asked with a grin.
“If you’re nice, maybe I’ll share,” she said with a laugh.
She grabbed some food from the kitchen and crashed on the couch beside him. She grinned when he grabbed her legs and pulled them over his so she could lie down. He grabbed one of her feet and began to massage it. She sighed happily.
“That is wonderful,” she said, her eyes dropping closed as the pleasant sensation relaxed her whole body. “Don’t stop.”
“I won’t Fern. You’ve had a rough day, so I’ll make you feel better,” he shot her a grin. “Or if you want, I can really make you feel better.”
She reached out and half heartedly slapped him. “Deeks, come on.”
“I’m serious Kensi. Just say the words,” he said with a smile. “Anytime that you’re ready.”
Kensi’s face turned serious. “I appreciate that Deeks. But I’m not interested.”
“Am I really that gross?” he asked, trying to joke a smile onto her face.
“You were there today. You know what you heard. I don’t want another relationship,” she said softly. “I don’t do relationships and you can’t be a one night stand.”
“You want to talk about it?” he asked gently.
“No,” she paused. “Maybe.”
“What was Jack like?” he asked softly.
“Before the war? He was amazing. Funny, interesting, he was perfect. He was neat, and he always kept me organized. But he didn’t care that I was messy. We complimented each other.”
“After he was a different man. Withdrawn, angry. I never knew when something would set him off. He couldn’t control his mood, his moods swung from violent to childlike to confused to totally fine. I never knew what I was going to get. And I tried so hard to take care of him, to help him, but it wasn’t enough and he left.”
“Maybe he thought he was doing you a favor,” Deeks said softly. “Saving you from what he was going through.”
She shrugged. “Maybe.”
“I mean it Kensi. If he changed that drastically would have changed you too. And I’m sure in his more lucid moments he saw that, and he did what he thought he needed to do,” Deeks reached out and snagged her hand. “He wanted to stop hurting you.”
Kensi sighed. “I never thought of it that way.”
“When I was a kid, my mom was awesome, for like, the first six years of my life. Then my dad lost his job, and started drinking. He changed. And slowly, my mom changed to. His destroyed her when he changed, and in the end, she was only a shell of who she used to be. She tried to pretend that she was okay, but she wasn’t. He broke her spirit,” Deeks said softly. “Jack didn’t want that to happen to you.”
“Thanks,” she said softly. “That almost helps.”
She shrugged. “I never really thought about why he did it. All I know is I woke up on Christmas morning and he wasn’t in bed, and I figured he was making breakfast or waiting for me by the tree. And he wasn’t anywhere. He was just gone. And I waited all day, thinking he would come back, and he never did. I called the police and the hospitals, but nothing. And I knew, he had left me, and he wasn’t coming back.”
“You want me to track him down?” Deeks asked. “I have some contacts at the police station.”
Kensi shook her head. “No thanks.”
“You sure?” he asked.
Kensi looked up at him and gave him a sad smile. Swinging her legs off of him she snagged some food from the coffee table and then leaned against him. He looked at her for a moment before wrapping his arm around her. She paused for a moment before cuddling against him. She knew that she should keep her distance, maybe even make him go home, but she couldn’t do it. She was tired of spending her Christmases alone.
For a moment he thought about slipping out so she didn’t wake up embarrassed by their sleeping arrangements, but as he thought back to Jack he knew that there was no way he’d leave her alone on Christmas morning.
He gently slipped out from under her and headed toward her kitchen. Glancing back to make sure she hadn’t woken he turned to the task at hand. Christmas morning breakfast with whatever food he could find in Kensi’s kitchen.
She had eggs and cheese, bacon crumbles, and onion that he was pretty sure he could salvage part of. Scrambled eggs were the first idea that came to mind. And she had some pancake mix that he could use too. Along with coffee, it would be a pretty decent breakfast.
He was just putting food onto their plates when he heard movement in the living room. He heard something hard hit the wall as Kensi swore and he hurried in to see what was wrong. When he left she had been asleep on the sofa, but she was now sitting on the floor, her face buried in her hands.
“Kens?” he said softly, kneeling beside her. “What’s wrong?”
She looked up at him, tears streaming down her face and for a moment he was scared. He’d never seen her cry before, and he wasn’t sure what had happened to cause such a response. Her eyes were wild as she looked at him and wiped away her tears. Silently he sat down next to her and pulled her into his lap, letting her bury her face against his chest. He rubbed her back lightly until her breathing had calmed.
“What happened Kens?” he asked again.
“I thought you left,” she said, her voice lighter than a whisper. “I woke up alone, and I thought you left without saying good-bye.”
“I made breakfast, Fern. That’s all. I didn’t leave. I’m right here. It’s Christmas morning Kens, I never would have left without telling you,” he said, smoothing her hair with his hand and holding her close. “You want breakfast?”
“Depends what it is,” she said softly.
“Pancakes, lots of butter and syrup,” he said with a smile. “Scrambled eggs, and coffee.”
“Donuts?” she asked a familiar glow in her eyes.
“Not unless you already have some here. I didn’t leave, remember Fern,” he said with a laugh. “After we eat we can see if we can find some place open on Christmas morning and stock up on donuts, ice cream, and anything else you’d like to have.”
“Don’t you have anything better to do today?” she asked softly, following him into the kitchen.
He shook his head. “Nope. You’re stuck with me all day. Unless you don’t want to be stuck with me.”
She looked at him and shrugged. “I guess it would be ok.”
He looked at her and grinned. Usually he went surfing on Christmas morning, and if he could convince her to go to the beach, he would. But if she didn’t want to go to the beach, he would be content to spend the day with her, no matter what she wanted to do.
“You missed the good part of the video,” Deeks said with a grin as he followed Kensi into her apartment. “You should have seen me take out that guy. I was awesome.”
“Sure you were Deeks,” Kensi said, rolling her eyes.
“I was,” he said. “Honest.”
“Is there a reason you’re following me home?” Kensi said, turning to stare at him.
“Because I drove you to work today so I had to drive you home,” he said.
“Why did you follow me inside?”
“I thought we could talk.”
“Whatever’s on your mind,” he said with a shrug. “Or if nothing is, we could just hang out.”
“Don’t you have anyone else to hand out with?” she asked. “Maybe some cop friends?”
Deeks turned silent and looked at her. “Nevermind, I’ll just go.”
“Deeks,” she said with a frown. “What’s up?”
“I’m just your partner aren’t I? We’re never going to be more than that are we? You’re always going to push me away just enough so you don’t have to get close to me,” he shook his head. “You don’t really care what happens to me outside of work. You can flirt with me, and tease me, and string me along, but it doesn’t really mean anything does it? I’m just someone who listens to you when you need me, but when you’re done talking, I’m dismissed.”
Kensi took a deep breath. “I care Deeks. Sometimes I think I care too much.”
“I don’t have any cop friends, Kens. Is that what you wanted to hear? I don’t have people that I hang out with. You know why I like to surf so much? Because it’s something that I can do alone. Just me and the waves. I don’t feel lonely when I’m surfing,” he ran his hands through his hair. “I’m just going to go.”
She held up her hand. “Deeks, wait. Stay. Just stay for a while and hang out.”
“You don’t need to play nice Kensi. I know where I stand,” Deeks put his hand on the door knob.
“Deeks, come on. You know that you’re not just my partner. I’m just not used to having people in my life,” she said softly. “I’m not used to people following me home and wanting to spend time with me. I’m not used to having friends.”
“You have friends Kens,” he said turning toward her.
“Yes. I have the team. I’m friends with all of them. But outside of work, I don’t see much of them. Sam has his family, Callen likes being alone, and I don’t know Nell or Eric all that well. And with what we do, I don’t bother to make a lot of friends outside of work. Too many lies and too much of a chance that I’ll slip up on my cover story. You’re different though.”
“Good different?” he asked as he crossed the room back to her.
“Yes, good different. I can be myself with you. You know what I do, and you do it too, and you understand. And I like spending time with you,” she said softly. “But I don’t want you to spend time with me just because you think that you need to.”
“I know I don’t need to Kens,” he said gently, running his finger down her arm. “But I want to. I want to spend as much time with you as you’ll let me. I want to be as much to you as you’ll let me be.”
Kensi nodded. “Chinese?”
“Chinese,” he said with a nod. “Beer and a movie?”
“I can handle that,” she said with a smile.
She spent the rest of the night thinking about him instead of watching the movie. Even when her eyes were fixed on the screen, she was still trying to process things in her head. She knew why Hetty had paired them up - they needed each other in their lives. The problem for was that she was always worried that he would leave. It didn’t matter that he had proved over and over that he wasn’t going anywhere. The fear was always in the back of her head, and she knew if he really did leave that it would destroy her.
She was tired of trying to deny it - she was falling for her partner, and there wasn’t a single thing that she could do about it. When he swung his arm over the back of her sofa, she had scooted closer to him and leaned her head against his chest before she could stop herself. She was thankful that he didn’t try to do anything more because she wasn’t ready to take that step yet. She was comforted in knowing that he was there with her, and when she was ready, he would be there for the next step in their relationship.
But he knew that he would never give up on her. He would take as much as he could get from her. She was the first person that he trusted enough to talk to. He hadn’t been lying when he said that he didn’t have any cop friends. They tolerated him, and he was sure when Hetty pulled him into NCIS that it would be the same there. He had been surprised when it wasn’t. Instead he had found a close knit team that had room for him. And he had also found Kensi. She was just as broken as him, and for the first time, he felt that he had finally met someone who could mean something to him. He could see a future with her, and he had never felt that way before about anyone.
He was sure that Hetty had paired them together for a reason. They were both broken, and somehow they worked so well together because of that. She trusted him, and that was a big step for her. The problem was that he wanted to be a few steps further than that.
She shifted against him, and he couldn’t resist wrapping his arm around her. Closing his eyes, he pretended to be asleep.
“I know you’re awake,” she said with a yawn.
He peaked his eyes open. “No I’m not.”
“Deeks,” she said with a laugh. “Wake up. Go home.”
“No breakfast?” he asked, his lower lip sticking out in a pout. “I thought we could have breakfast.”
“It isn’t breakfast time,” she said shaking her head. She pulled away from him and stretched. “It’s two in the morning. Breakfast is hours away.”
She stood and looked at him expectantly. “Goodnight, Deeks.”
He stuck his feet up on the sofa. “Night, Kens. See you in the morning.”
“Really?” she said with a laugh.
“It’s late. I don’t want to drive home. And I’ll make you a really good breakfast in the morning,” he said with a grin.
“Fine. You can stay. But you’re making a really good breakfast from scratch in the morning,” she said with a nod. “Even if you have to go buy groceries.”
“Deal,” he said with a smile.
She turned and headed down the hall to her bedroom and he grinned. He wasn’t so tired that he couldn’t have driven home, but being allowed to stay felt like a victory, and he would take what he could get.
“You don’t need to stay here with me Kensi. I’ll be fine,” Deeks said as he eased himself into his bed. “Besides, I don’t have any jell-o here for you to eat. So thank you for the ride home, and I’ll see you when I get back to work.”
“I’m not here for the jell-o,” Kensi answered, sitting on the edge of the bed.
“All I’m going to do is sleep, Kensi. I don’t need you hovering over me making sure I’m ok. I got enough of that from the nurses at the hospital,” Deeks said with a frown. “I’m in pain and I just want to be left alone.”
She silently stared at the floor, trying to decide how to tell Deeks why she was there. Yes, he had saved her. And he had always been there for her, but she had drawn the line when they started working together. There was professional and there was personal. And while they could be friends outside of work, she hadn’t wanted what he had offered to her. He had her back, and he was willing to be everything that she would let him be, but until now, she hadn’t wanted to let him be anything more than a friend.
After the events of the week, that had changed. When she was sitting in the hospital worrying about it, it hadn’t been that she was worried about Deeks her partner, but rather she had been worried about Marty, her friend. Marty, the guy who wanted to be more, if she would only let him in. Now that he was home, and alive, and on his way to recovering from saving her, she wanted to tell him how she felt. But the words didn’t come out.
“Go home Kensi,” Deeks said softly, his eyes sliding shut.
She shook her head. “I’m not leaving you.”
He sighed and pulled his eyes open for a moment. “I’ll be fine Kensi. You’re duty is over. You got me home.”
“It wasn’t a duty,” she spoke so softly, she almost didn’t hear herself. “I did it for a friend.”
“Yeah Kensi, I know. We’re friends. Just friends,” he said as his eyes drifted closed again. “We’ve been over this already.”
“That’s not what I mean Deeks,” she said with a frown, trying to find the right words.
“Kensi, I’m tired. They gave me some really good pain meds. I’m sorry, I don’t understand,” he reached out and patted her leg with his hand. “We’ll talk later.”
“Scoot over,” she whispered.
“Please. Just scoot over,” she said with a soft sigh. “If you scoot over, I’ll show you what I mean.”
Deeks slowly wiggled across the bed until there was a small space on the left of him. As he closed his eyes, she could see that he was too tired to move anymore. With a soft smile she slipped into the small space that he had left and rested her head in the crook of his arm. She saw him smile softly in his sleep as his uninjured arm wrapped around her.
“Night, Fern,” Deeks whispered into her hair.
She grinned and closed her eyes. “Night, Marty.”
“Fern,” he whispered, as he tried to pull his arm loose. “Fern, come on wake up baby girl.”
She shifted slightly, but didn’t wake up.
“Kensi,” he said, a little louder as he pulled his arm up.
She shifted again and opened her eyes. Looking up at his she quickly backed away and sat up.
“Sorry, Deeks,” she said shaking her head. “I didn’t mean to do that.”
“Can you get me a Tylenol? Not one of those horse pills from the hospital, a regular Tylenol that won’t put me to sleep,” he asked softly.
She nodded and fled from the room. He struggled into a sitting position while she was gone, pulling his pillows up and laying them against the headboard. Once situated, he leaned back, waiting for Kensi.
She came back, and silently handed him two tablets and a glass of water. He saw her backing out the door as he started to drink the water, and he locked eyes with her, causing her to stop.
“Kensi,” he said setting down his glass. “Come over here.”
She crossed the room, watching her feet the whole time. She stopped at his bed and still didn’t look at him. Shaking his head he grabbed her hand, catching her off guard, and pulled her onto the bed. Wrapping his good arm around her, he pulled her beside him. He was pleased to see that she didn’t try to wiggle loose.
“What’s on your mind Kensi?”
“Nothing,” she said finally speaking.
“I remember you trying to tell me something before I fell asleep, but between the pain of getting home, and the painkillers that were putting me to sleep, I don’t know what it was. Then I woke up to you snuggled against my chest asleep,” Deeks grinned. “So out with it.”
She shrugged. “It was easier to talk to you when you couldn’t hear me.”
“Come on Kensi. This is me. This is us. Just talk to me, please?” He asked.
“I just …. I don’t know. What you did Deeks. It got me thinking about what you are to me. And maybe you’re more than I thought you were,” she said nervously playing with her hair. “Maybe I need you to be more.”
“So what am I?” he asked with a grin.
Kensi bit her lip and looked at him. He met her eyes, daring her to make the first move before he did. It had been no secret that he was attracted to his partner, but if their relationship would extend beyond partners and friends, he needed her to be the one that made that call. He had put himself out there in the past only to lose out to the guy that had the movie star looks, or the nice car, or the giant paycheck. He wasn’t going to put his heart out there for Kensi until he knew she was sure. He wouldn’t ruin what they did have - a solid partnership and a good friendship - for something that could be great but may not work out.
The last time it had come up she had admitted she was interested, but it wasn’t the right time. When she said it, he had taken it as a personal attack, that she didn’t want him. But as he had watched her, he saw there wasn’t anything deeper to it. She had things she needed to figure out before she took that step with him. And now, all he could do was hope that she had figured them out.
She leaned towards him for a brief moment before pulling away. He could almost see her internal battle as she tried to figure out what her next move would be. Shaking his head, he took pity on her and leaned forward and caught her lips with his. He pulled back just as quickly before she had a chance to deepen the kiss. Meeting her eyes, he smiled.
This was the woman. This was the case. This was the cover that he had crawled into so deeply that he hadn’t been sure he’d come out. As Kensi watched Deeks kiss Nichole on the monitor it all made sense. He had gone undercover only to discover his childhood best friend. Saving him had been the only option, even Kensi could see that. But the extent that Deeks took to do it, it was clear why he almost hadn’t come of out the cover.
She turned away from Sam and Callen. She couldn’t let them see how much Deeks’s display was upsetting her. He had tried to warn her the night before that something was going to happen, but she was to occupied with the other things they could do in his bed, that listening to him talk had been the furthest thing from her mind.
He wasn’t cheating on her. That wasn’t him that was kissing her. It was his cover. Intellectually she understood that. It didn’t stop her stomach from turning or her heart from beating quicker. It also didn’t keep her anger from spiking when she looked at the monitor.
When Deeks walked out of the interrogation she could feel his eyes on hers. She silently excused herself from the room and headed towards the armory.
“Really Kensi? The armory? You go to the armory when you’re mad?”
She pulled her hand away from the knife she had been playing with and turned to him. “When I’m mad, I go to the shooting range. When I’m hurt I come here.”
Deeks nodded and took a few steps toward her. She bit her lip and looked away but didn’t stop him. With a determined look on his face he nodded and continued walking, closing the distance between them.
“I’m sorry,” he said softly. “I’m sorry it happened, and I’m sorry you saw it.”
She shook her head. “It’s fine. It was the job.”
He wrapped his arms around her. “I’m sorry I hurt you. I, Deeks, am sorry that I hurt you, Fern.”
She took a deep breath and wrapped her arms around his waist. She tipped her head up and softly kissed his cheek before burying her head against his chest.
“The next time we’re undercover you can kiss some hot stranger,” Deeks said, running his hands down her back.
“I don’t want to kiss anyone but you,” Kensi said softly.
“Good,” he said with a grin as he pulled away and looked at her. “Because I wasn’t looking forward to watching that. So we’re ok?”
Kensi frowned. “Don’t do that again. Don’t even go near her again.”
“You know I can’t promise you that,” Deeks shook his head. “I may need to go back into the boathouse.”
“Don’t go near her outside of the boathouse,” Kensi said slowly. “Can you promise me that?”
Deeks nodded. “I won’t even see her here unless she knows who I really am. You are the only one that I want Kensi Marie Blye.”
Kensi nodded. “Come on, we better get back before Hetty worries about us and comes looking.”
“You know she knows we’re sleeping together, Kensi,” Deeks said as he followed her out of the room. “She’ll just think we’re making up or something.”
Kensi turned around with a grin. “I know. And she’s going to worry about what we’re doing to her weapons. Trust me Deeks, you don’t want her to come looking.”
Deeks caught her eye and laughed. Kensi could only imagine what Hetty would do if she thought two of her agents were fooling around amid all the weapons. She was sure that while Hetty did not seem to mind her agents sleeping together, she would not be as understanding about anything happening to, or around her weapons.
“Never, never call me that again,” Kensi said, holding up her spoon.
Deeks put his hands up in mock surrender before closing his eyes and sticking out his tongue to play dead. He opened his eyes when Kensi started to laugh. Grabbing the spoon from her, he stuck it in her ice cream and took a bite.
“Deeks! That was mine. You have your own,” she said with a laugh.
He shrugged and took a spoonful of his and fed it to her. “Now we’re even.”
Kensi rolled her eyes as she took her spoon off of Deeks and stole another bite. As soon as she pulled the spoon from her mouth, Deeks kissed her. He laughed against her lips as she tried to swallow the ice cream before kissing him back. He pulled away first and licked his lips.
“We should eat ice cream like that all the time,” he said, watching her lick her lips. “It’s much more fun.”
“It’s sticky,” she said with a frown. “I feel like I need a shower after that.”
“I could help you with that,” Deeks said, a grin spreading over his face. “Make sure you get nice and clean.”
Kensi shook her head with a sigh. Deeks shrugged and grabbed her around her waist with his free hand, and shifted her until she was on his lap, her head against his chest.
“You ok,” she asked softly.
“With what?” he asked, his fingers gently running her shoulders.
“The case, the cover, Ray,” she said.
He took a deep breath and sighed. “I think so. I never want to see that cover again, Fern. Never. I can never become him again.”
Kensi nodded. “I won’t let you become him.”
“He was a horrible cover. Shooting people, beating them, he never took no for an answer. I created him with the memories that I have of my father, what he was like when he was out of control, when he was drunk, when he was taking swings at anyone who got in his way.”
“I’m sorry, Marty,” she said gently.
He smiled at the name. “You called me Marty.”
“I did,” she said raising her head to kiss him. “It is your name.”
“You’ve never really used it before,” he said softly. “But I like it.”
“We can make this work, right?” she asked.
“Us. Working together, and being together. You’re not just going to up and leave me or anything right?” she said, biting her lower lip.
“I’m not going to leave. I can’t promise that I won’t have to go undercover again, but I will always come back. You’re my everything Kens.”
“Jack left me. My dad left me. My last partner died on me,” Kensi said softly. “And you are more important to me than all those men, except my dad. But I survived losing them. If I lose you, it may kill me. And that terrifies me.”
“I can’t promise that there won’t be a day when only one of us comes back from the field. But I will do everything I can to try and make sure that we both come back,” Deeks said gently. “I will never willingly leave you, that I can promise.”
Kensi nodded. “Would you leave NCIS and LAPD if I asked?”
Deeks shook his head. “No. And that’s a trick question. One of the reasons we’re so good together is we get each other. And we know neither of us could ask that of the other and still care for them if they did give it up.”
Kensi grinned at him. “Come to bed?”
“Don’t you want dinner first?” he asked.
“Nope,” she said. “I want you, naked, in my bed.”
“You like me more than food don’t you?” Deeks asked with a laugh.
She nodded happily. “You will need to feed me before round two, but I think I like you a little more than food. At least more than burgers. I don’t know about donuts. I may still like donuts more than you.”
Deeks grinned as she tugged him down the hall to her bedroom. While the relationship was still in its early stages, he knew that if anyone could make it work it would be the two of them. Both of them had been torn apart so many times in their lives, but for the first time he knew that he had met someone that could put him back together. And he knew she felt the same.
The early hours before the dawn were Kensi’s favorite hours. She would wake early some mornings just stare at the man in her bed. Her partner, her best friend, her whole world. She knew that their lives would never be smooth. There would always be a case, or a terrorist, and every time they went out in the field there was always that chance that they wouldn’t return to the bedroom together that night.
In the four years since they had been together, there were a few nights when that had happened. Undercover cases, hospital stays, and travel sometimes separated them. But despite that, or maybe because of that, she knew that he was never going to leave her. And in the early hours before the dawn, when the day was still unwritten, she loved to lie beside him and watch him breathe. The slow pace of his breath calmed her, and she knew in those moments that no matter what the day brought, they would be able to handle it together.
Today she had woken for a different reason. This morning was the last chance that she would get to wake up beside the man she was dating. After today, he wouldn’t just be the man she was dating, instead he would be so much more. His eyes opened slowly as she watched, and she couldn’t help but smile as his blue eyes met hers.
“Today’s the day,” he said softly, reaching his hand out to pull her close to him. “No second thoughts or cold feet?”
She stuck her bare feet against his legs. “Nope. They’re nice and warm.”
“Excited?” he asked, softly kissing her forehead.
“Nervous,” she answered.
“Tripping on my dress. Or forgetting what I’m supposed to say. Or rain,” she looked at him suddenly. “What if it rains?”
“We checked the weather last night Kens. No rain in the forecast. You’re dress isn’t long enough to trip on, and all you have to say is I do,” he said with a grin.
“I do,” she said leaning in to kiss him. “I do today, and tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives.”
“Me too, Fern,” he said. “Me too.”